Senate jacks up 2018 budget by over N500bn

Senate Plenary

The Nigerian Senate Committee on Appropriation has increased the 2018 budget from N8.612 trillion to N9.120 trillion, a difference if N502 billion from the figure presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

2018 budget

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, laid the report before the Senate on Thursday, amid expectations that the budget bill might be considered and passed next week.

Although the details are yet to be unveiled, the synopsis showed that N530,421,368,624 is for statutory transfer; N2,203,835,365,699 for debt service; N199 billion for sinking fund for maturing loans; N3,516,477,902,077 for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, and N2,869,600,351,825 for development fund for capital expenditure.

The lifespan of the 2017 budget expires May 31, 2018.

President Muhammadu Buhari had presented a budget proposal of N8.612 trillion on Nov. 7, 2017.

Since then, the budget bill has suffered setbacks due to face-offs between the executive and legislative arms of government.

On several occasions, the Senate had accused heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of refusing to honour invitations to defend budgets proposed for their organisations.

Spokesman Abdullahi Sabi Aliu said, last week, that there would be no difference between the bill passed by the Senate and the one passed by the House of Representatives.

“The good thing is that it is a joint work between the House and the Senate.

“So, whatever is laid in the Senate would be exactly the same thing that will be laid in the House of Representatives and we are going to consider it the same day,” Sabi said.

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Also, at the House of Representatives, yesterday, the Mustapha Bala Dawaki-led House Committee on Appropriation laid the report at the plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Yussuf Lasun.

Lasun said the House would consider the report at noon on Wednesday (Today).

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